My 11yo got a "black rectangle" for all YouTube videos today. This is popularly known as the YouTube "black screen" problem, and Google's own engineers say ...
... Our engineering team has been working on this for a while. We haven't been able to identify the source of the problem yet, but the details you've provided have really helped...
It's a Flash problem, but it's not Firefox specific. It can strike any Flash-based browser. What a surprise that Flash should have a bug that even Google can't fix ... :-).
There are many Google hits on this problem, but of course there's no fix. The problem comes and goes.
I found that if I took the "embed" URL and opened it in Safari that the video would play. So it's related to YouTube's default video presentation. Upgrading to Flash 10.2 didn't help.
What helped was forcing Safari to load the HTML 5 version of the video. There are several ways to do this
- append "&html5=True" to the YouTube URL
- enroll in YouTube's HTML 5 trial (even though Google has shafted Apple/h.264, the YouTube HTML 5 video player still supports h.264 - for now)
- Install the YouTube5 extension for Safari
I ended up doing the last one, and I set the options to default to 720p. It works.
My next step would have been to install Chrome, which has both WebM and a Google-authored Flash player.
PS. Ben says it "looks cooler" now.
Update 2/20: See comments for other ways to work around this. Windows 7 is also affected. I'm seeing Flash 10.2 problems on many sites, I suspect there are hardware acceleration problems with older hardware configurations.